If you followed my Instagram, you have saw many many pictures of dancer Sydney Guine from the famous Debbie Allen Dance Academy. It is now her time to shine as our Dancer of the Week. Check out her interview…
Name: Sydney Guine
Hobbies: Dance and more dance (and napping! I’m getting really good at it!) I also love learning aerial silks! I just started in June, but it’s really fun and hard!
Dance School: The Debbie Allen Dance Academy
What do you love about dancing? I love that dancing helps me express my emotions. When I’m dancing, I’m not thinking about anything else. I just get to be me.
What was your biggest accomplishment in dance? Getting to dance at the White House for Michelle Obama, and also at the Kennedy Center were big accomplishments. But since I was 4, my mom would take me to see ballets at the Dorothy Chandler pavilion in Los Angeles. I always wanted to dance there, and I got to do that last year in the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. That made me sooooo happy. And we are doing it again this year! It’s a special place for me.
Who inspires and motivates you in the field of dance? First, Ms. Debbie Allen. Her story is amazing. And now, Misty Copeland (ABT), Desmond Richardson (Complexions), Hope Boykin and Alicia Graf Mack (Alvin Ailey), Ashley Murphy and Chrystyn Fentroy (Dance Theater of Harlem). There are too many! Mostly, I love seeing dancers who look like me, and who are doing well as dancers.
What was the best advice received about dance?
It sounds simple, but lots of people say, ‘compete against yourself everyday, not other dancers’. I have to remember that.
What was your best performance? Oh my gosh. I love performing, so that’s hard. When I was 10, Ms Allen invited me to be in the DADA Ensemble. I got to perform in some really hard pieces that were choreographed by Terry Beeman. I loved performing in that show and I think I did pretty well.
Who is your mentor? Ms. Nancy Dobbs-Owen was my first real ballet teacher. I still take class with her once in awhile, and she always tells me the truth about how I’m doing. She’s very supportive, and never mean even when I have a lot of corrections. Ms. Allen is a great mentor. I know she believes in me, and has kept an eye on me for the past 7 years. Lots of the teachers at DADA are encouraging, like Ms. Eartha Robinson, and the director, Miss McDonald. She is really really encouraging and helps me feel good about my progress. And on Instagram, @blackswandiaries helps me feel like I have a friend outside of my studio who wants to help me.
What advice would you give to girls your age? Don’t give up, even when things are really really hard. Also, take everyone’s corrections in class. And stop fooling around and pay attention in class. That makes me crazy.